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Geology, SUNY College at Oneonta

Information for this profile was provided by James R. Ebert in 2009.

SUNY College at Oneonta is a university with graduate programs, primarily masters programs .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the SUNY Oneonta geology curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by James Ebert. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Geology major at SUNY Oneonta is a rather traditional program with course work required in all of the major areas of geology.
This is one of five curricula available to undergraduates from the Earth Sciences Department. Other majors include Water Resources (Hydrogeology), Earth Science, Meteorology and Environmental Earth Science.

Program Design

The Oneonta Geology major was designed in the early history of the department to provide a rigorous and comprehensive foundation in all areas of geology. It has been modified over the years to meet changing needs in employment and in response to student interests.

Goals and Assessment


  • Students will attain a working knowledge of major geologic materials
  • Students know the geologic time scale
  • Students will understand major tectonic processes and interior processes of the Earth
  • Students recognize geologic evidence for past plate tectonic processes
  • Students are able to discern relationships between geologic and biologic processes
  • Students will understand Earth's surficial processes
  • Students will develop the ability to visualize the three dimensional nature of geologic features
  • Students will be able to apply geologic knowledge in research or practical problems
  • Students will understand the process of science as inquiry and the tentative nature of scientific knowledge
  • Students are skilled in making observations
  • Students make reasonable inferences from observations
  • Students will demonstrate competence in analytical thinking and effective communication


  • Spot assessments in individual courses
  • Senior thesis
  • Exit questionaires
  • Alumni surveys

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program:

  • Introduction to Geology
  • Water and the Blue Planet
  • Science of Natural Disasters
  • Introduction to Forensic Geology

Core courses

  • Earth History and the Fossil Record (Prerequisite: any introductory geology course with a lab)
  • Mineralogy (Prerequisite: any introductory course)
  • Geologic Data and Analysis (Prerequisite: Earth History)
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (Prerequisite: Mineralogy)
  • Sedimentary Geology (Prerequisite: Earth History)
  • Structural Geology (Prerequisites: Geologic Data and Analysis, Mineralogy)
  • Geomorphology (Prerequisite: Earth History)
  • Introduction to Hydrology (Prerequisite: any introductory course with lab)


Students are required to take 2 elective courses, selected from:

  • Paleontology (Prerequisite: Earth History or Introductory Biology)
  • Introduction to Engineering Geology (Prerequisites: Earth History and Introductory Physics)
  • Glacial Geology (Prerequisite: Geomorphology)
  • Fluvial Geology (Prerequisite: Geomorphology)
  • Geochemistry of Natural Waters (Prerequisites: any introductory course and 2 semesters of Chemistry)
  • Marine Geology (Prerequisite: Earth History)


  • Senior Thesis or Independent Study or Field Camp

Other required courses

  • Chemistry - 2 semesters
  • Physics - 2 semesters
  • Calculus 1
  • Calculus 2 or Statistics

Additional comments

In addition to the required and elective coursework, we encourage students to participate in undergraduate research projects with our faculty.

Additional Materials

Geology Major at SUNY Oneonta Course Sequencing (Microsoft Word 32kB May1 09)

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